TotalEnergies’ huge profits revive the debate on „superprofits”

TotalEnergies made huge profits in the second quarter, taking full advantage of the rise in oil and gas prices, which followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and reviving the debate on the taxation of „superprofits”.

The French group more than doubled its net profit in the second quarter, to $5.7 billion, compared to $2.2 billion in the same quarter of 2021.

„The effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on energy markets continued in the second quarter, with oil prices exceeding $110 per barrel on average over the quarter,” TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné said in a statement.

This surge in markets benefits the entire oil and gas sector around the world. The British giant Shell published Thursday a net profit multiplied by five in the second quarter, to $ 18 billion.

These massive profits have fueled France a debate about whether to tax them, as Italy and Spain have done. However, the National Assembly on Saturday narrowly rejected the idea of a tax on the „superprofits” or „exceptional profits” of large multinationals – especially oil companies – despite protests from the left and the far right.

Michael Cooper

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